WASHINGTON (June 27, 2011) — The nation’s largest animal protection organization, The Humane Society of the United States, reminds Americans that our beloved pets can become distressed by the additional noise and commotion involved with the Independence Day holiday.
In fact, animal shelters across the country are accustomed to receiving “July 4th” dogs—dogs who run off during fireworks celebrations and are rescued by animal control officers or good Samaritans who take them to the safety of a local shelter.
“Pets are family members, and it’s understandable that people want to include them in their holiday plans,” said Adam Goldfarb, director of the Pets at Risk program for The HSUS. “However, most pets will be more comfortable staying at home. Spare our furry friends the stress of fireworks, crowds and fanfare on the Fourth of July, and for everyone, we wish you a safe and fun Independence Day.”
Fortunately, you can prevent pet problems on Independence Day simply by planning ahead and taking some basic precautions:
· Leave them at home
There are many family and group activities that are perfect for pets, but a public fireworks display or a picnic, cookout or any other type of gathering where fireworks will be set off isn’t one of them – please resist the urge to take your pets to such an event.
· Don’t leave your pet in the car
With only hot air to breathe inside a car, your pet can suffer serious health effects—even death—in a few short minutes. Partially opened windows do not provide sufficient air, but they do provide an opportunity for your pet to be stolen.
· Give them shelter
Keep your pets indoors at home in a sheltered, quiet area. Some animals can become destructive when frightened, so be sure that you’ve removed any items that your pet could destroy or that would be harmful to your pet if chewed. Leave a television or radio playing at normal volume to keep him company while you’re attending Fourth of July picnics, parades, and other celebrations.
· Keep it quiet
If you know that your pet is seriously distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult with your veterinarian before July 4th for ways to help alleviate the fear and anxiety he or she will experience during fireworks displays. The HSUS has calming products for sale at its online store, Humane Domain.
Never leave pets outside unattended, even in a fenced yard or on a chain. In their fear, pets who normally wouldn’t leave the yard may escape and become lost, or become entangled in their chain, risking injury or death.
· Tag ‘Em
Make sure your pets are wearing identification tags so that if they do become lost, they can be returned promptly. Animals found running at-large should be taken to the local animal shelter, where they will have the best chance of being reunited with their owners.